Aberdeenshire AFA

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Ellon Thistle Claim the Castle Rovers Cup

Ellon Thistle 3 – 1 JS XI

Report by Andy McLaren

Ellon Thistle celebrated their first cup in over thirty years after comfortably beating JS XI in the final of the Aberdeen Trophy Centre Castle Rovers Cup at Hillhead, Bridge of Don.

Thistle’s Kevin Reid picked up the man of the match award as his hat-trick meant Ellon are the first side outside the City to clinch a cup this season.

The omens looked good for a JS XI victory after they defeated Ellon Thistle in their last league encounter. JS XI started in the ascendency as Daniel Adamson in the Thistle goal was forced into a brave early save as he parried a fierce shot to Ryan Stewart who had a scuffed shot cleared off the line on 5 minutes.

Ellon Thistle got the goal they so desperately needed as Keith Reid expertly rounded goalkeeper John Sim to slot the ball into the empty net.

By and large, the first half was short on quality but the officials ignored JS XI protests as they strongly claimed for a handball.

At the other end Ellon’s Matthew Cowie was inches away from making it 2-0 with a clever lob but only a last ditch clearance from Matthew Dunn prevented the score from doubling Thistle’s lead.

As the half came to a close, Ellon Thistle became increasingly nervous as JS’s Ryan Stewart pounced on sloppy defending to rifle a low cross across goal, leaving Ashley Tosh with an easy tap in.

Half-time: 1 – 1

Influential attacker William Dailly came close for Ellon Thistle after his header was well saved from Sim after good work from Kevin Reid.

JS’s best opportunity to grab the lead was thwarted by a poor touch by Richard Crighton. Linesman Daniel Macfarlane kept his flag down as the pace and trickery of Crighton deceived the Ellon defence leaving a one on one opportunity that he couldn’t take advantage of.

Ellon Thistle Manager Kevin Kennedy set out his team to pressure JS XI high up the pitch, successfully cutting off their usual flow of possession. This paid off as a quick counter attack resulted in a goal.

Matthew Cowie picked out Keith Reid with a cross field ball which he clinically finished to score his second goal of the match.

A second claim for a penalty was turned down by the officials as what appeared to be a slight pull on the shirt of JS’s Andrew Sinclair was overlooked.

A wayward clearance by JS goalkeeper John Sim went straight to Ellon’s Stephen Cruickshanks who neatly played the ball into the feet of Keith Reid who couldn’t miss from 10 yards to round off his hat-trick and his teams winning performance.

Full Time: 3 – 1

Ellon Thistle Manager Kevin Kennedy said his side “gradually” got into the game but in the second half, were “magnificent” to secure the cup.